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Deciding on a Sales Career

By Percy Chong, 12th November 2014

The vast majority of individuals are faced with the constant challenge of finding their dream career. Few really achieved it dead centre, and many more still haven’t found what they are “looking” for.

Many have confessed stumbling into jobs, simply by the process of “elimination”. Although they don’t necessarily know what they want to do, they do know what they don’t want…and some spend a whole lifetime searching through trials and errors. These human “trials” are unproductive and extremely frustrating for uneventful the dream hunters. And for those who are fortunate to have known or have found their calling, their real career will only start to take shape.

So how do we mitigate this unproductive journey?

Job matching and career counseling are already practiced by HR practitioners and been found effective at improving job turnover. However, it is only one part of the equation. Correct introduction to the job, is equally important to sustain the candidate’s interest as well as develop a real passion for the role.

And no career can be worse than the sales career where the correct introduction is totally absent. The topics of sales isn’t taught, encouraged or even discussed either as a subject, or as a profession. Very often the only introduction that the sales person will received is immediately at the deep end of the pool. How is the sales person going to be professional if he is ill-prepared for it? How many individual’s first career choice is to enter into sales? How many parents would encourage their children to pursue a selling career?

Many sales person entered into sales primarily to escape a desk bound or administrative position. While others, for the opportunity to make loads of commissions. So sales career seems to be reduced to clichés and opportunistic function for any would be practitioner. Few really saw the real merits, or appreciate the body of knowledge (and skills) that goes behind the profession, to make it work.

The profession demands that the practitioner learn how to recognize and manage the diversity and dynamism of each and every prospect. And how to communicate to their interest…how to speak and represent the prospect’s interest rather their own. Thinking on their feet and creative problem solving skills are part of the “fruits” that practitioners will also reap along their development.

No other profession stretches the practitioner to learn about themselves; and pushes them to overcome their own “imperfections” in order to achieve performance breakthrough. Also, every new prospect offers the opportunity to start over and apply improvement until consistency and competency is achieved to secure results. And the gift of honesty and humility bestow over the course of development are even greater than the rewards of commissions.

And contrary to popular belief, selling is a totally logical subject matter. To the curious and intrepid learner, it will bring certainty, clarity, objectivity and repeatability to their career. “If you are not getting results, it’s simply because you have not done enough or have done something wrong”. It has little to do with luck, but plenty to do with practice and know how.

And this gift of selling knowledge will extend beyond the selling career into other aspect of one’s personal life as well. It will help to bridge and nurture personal relationship, and provide understanding and acceptance over trying circumstances.

Such is the beauty of the sales career! Sadly, it is not correctly introduced and many would be practitioners have no chance to see it, let alone embrace it. And in the absence of the overwhelming “beauty” at first sight, the practitioner needs to dig deeper and go beyond the surface of the profession to find value. “Love at first sight” is overrated…love for the profession may be nurtured over time especially when one becomes proficient at it! And it all starts with the decision and commitment to one’s chosen profession first, and then the results and the love will follow.

“And may I introduce you to the selling career…”

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)
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